A simple timeout can regroup or deflate a team. Friday night, it helped rejuvenate the Shoemaker Grey Wolves as they stormed back to defeat Killeen for a 63-47 District 8-6A victory.
The Grey Wolves trailed for the entire first quarter after the Roos came out on fire. A large deficit turned into only three after the first quarter ended when Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett gathered his team and refocused them.
“Basketball is a game of runs, and they made a run early. We have a lot more game left when they got hot, so I knew my guys would start to play hard, and it worked out for us,” Prichett said.
Killeen started the game making shot after shot. Cortez Ivie banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key to send the Roos out to a 10-1 lead a few minutes into the game. The lead grew when Montego Muckelvaney picked off a Shoemaker pass and threw a deep heave to 6-foot- 3 junior Trayvon Todd, who took the ball and slammed it home, which brought the entire Roo crowd to its feet, forcing a Shoemaker timeout. The Roos were up 12-1 with 4:54 left in the opening quarter.
That was when the Grey Wolves took charge.
Just before the quarter ended, Shoemaker guard J’wan Roberts’ 3-pointer just before the buzzer brought the road team back into the contest trailing only 18-15.
A quick 5-0 run to open the quarter gave the Grey Wolves the lead, which they did not lose the rest of the game. Devyn Brewton scored all five points, and sent Shoemaker out in front for the first time at 20-18 at the seven-minute mark in the second quarter.
Brewton ended the contest with 13 points, four rebounds and a block.
They Grey Wolves went into halftime with a 32-28 lead over the Roos, as they outscored Killeen 17-10 in the second quarter.
Roberts finished the game with 16 points and seven rebounds. The sophomore scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half.
In the second half, Shoemaker (19-6, 6-1) did not let up.
Roberts drove to the basket and dished to Taveon Sevaaetasi in the paint for a layup. The next possession resulted in another basket when Brewton drove by two defenders for a layup, giving Shoemaker a 43-33 lead with 4:15 in the third quarter.
All game long, Killeen could not solve the Shoemaker press. The Grey Wolves were able to force the Roos into 23 turnovers. Senior Javon Levi caused havoc on the Roos all game long. The 5-foot- 9 guard came up with four steals and also made his presence felt on the offensive end by scoring a game-high 17 points.
Prichett said when his team is causing turnovers and making life hard for their opponents to create shots, that makes him happy.
“We are getting better at pressing our opponents,” he said. “We are young, and I’m going to let my guys be energetic and have fun out there. They are trying to play as hard as they can, and try to do what we can as a team.”
Despite the loss, Killeen (12-12, 3-4) head coach Reggie Huggins acknowledged his team played hard for most of the game, but mental mistakes cost his team a win.
“We showed that we can compete against a good team like Shoemaker,” Huggins said. “There’s no way you can turn the ball over as many times as we did tonight, and expect to beat a team like that. Going forward, it’s the little things that we have to correct if we want to have a chance at postseason.”
The Roos were led by Todd with 14 points and four rebounds, including two dunks. Senior guard T.J. Robinson had eight points, all in the second half. Jaylin Lucas and Muckelvaney each scored seven points.
Shoemaker travels to Ellison on Tuesday, while Killeen hosts Belton.